The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport Tour De France -

Like to­day, tak­ing the yel­low jersey was a big event, es­pe­cially if you were a French rider. I know that when I was a kid and used to dream of rac­ing the Tour de France, the idea of hav­ing the yel­low jersey was quite mag­i­cal.

I would not say it changed my life, but it cer­tainly put some­thing ex­tra in my legs. Hav­ing the yel­low jersey did change your sta­tus within the bunch. It is like be­com­ing the king of this lit­tle planet that is the Tour de France. You do find your­self with a lit­tle bit more space in the bunch be­cause the riders have such great re­spect for it. [On the day he took it] I knew I was go­ing to be pre­sented with the yel­low jersey, but I re­fused to put it on un­til the bunch had fin­ished al­most 12 min­utes be­hind us and the re­sult be­came of­fi­cial. I did not want it to be taken away from me if there was some kind of tim­ing er­ror. It was pre­sented to me by Yvette Horner, the fa­mous ac­cor­dion player and singer who was just about the only woman on the race and used to per­form on top of a ve­hi­cle in the pub­lic­ity car­a­van.

The podium was noth­ing more than a plat­form and the cer­e­mony was over in a minute. You would get the jersey, then ride off in it to your ho­tel as soon as pos­si­ble. There were not any press con­fer­ences. The jour­nal­ists would do their in­ter­views in the riders’ ho­tel rooms, which was not a prob­lem. I do sym­pa­thise with the riders now who have to wait for so long to ful­fil pro­to­col com­mit­ments.

Re­spect: An­tonin Rolland wore the yel­low jersey for 12 days in 1955

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